Response of Nebraska Sand Hills natural vegetation to drought, fire, grazing, and plant functional type shifts as simulated by the Century model

Jennifer M. Mangan, Jonathan Overpeck, Robert S. Webb, Carol Wessman, Alexander F H Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Nebraska Sand Hills exist in a semi-arid climatic environment and the land surface is grassland growing on sandy soils. These soils have been periodically active throughout the Holocene, but are currently stabilized by the vegetation. However, a shift in climate could cause grassland death and eventual sand dune remobilization. Our studies used the CENTURY nutrient cycling and ecosystem model to investigate the impacts of drought, plant functional type, fire, grazing, and erosion on Nebraska Sand Hills vegetation and dune stability. Fire and grazing alone had little impact on the vegetation, but when combined with mild drought, biomass decreased. Overall biomass increased if one plant functional type was allowed to dominate the ecosystem. Addition of as little as 1 mm of erosion per year under current climate conditions decreases vegetation as much as a drought 20 percent drier than the worst of the 1930s drought years in Nebraska.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-90
Number of pages42
JournalClimatic Change
Volume63
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

Drought
Fires
Sand
grazing
drought
sand
vegetation
Ecosystems
dune
Erosion
Biomass
grassland
erosion
Soils
ecosystem
biomass
remobilization
nutrient cycling
climate conditions
sandy soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change

Cite this

Response of Nebraska Sand Hills natural vegetation to drought, fire, grazing, and plant functional type shifts as simulated by the Century model. / Mangan, Jennifer M.; Overpeck, Jonathan; Webb, Robert S.; Wessman, Carol; Goetz, Alexander F H.

In: Climatic Change, Vol. 63, No. 1-2, 03.2004, p. 49-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mangan, Jennifer M. ; Overpeck, Jonathan ; Webb, Robert S. ; Wessman, Carol ; Goetz, Alexander F H. / Response of Nebraska Sand Hills natural vegetation to drought, fire, grazing, and plant functional type shifts as simulated by the Century model. In: Climatic Change. 2004 ; Vol. 63, No. 1-2. pp. 49-90.
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